Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Impact of the Christian Evolutionist on the Church

Jesus criticized the religious leadership for slamming shut the door of salvation:

  • "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” (Matthew 23:13) 
How did they close salvation’s door?

  • "Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering." (Luke 11:52)
They took away the “key of knowledge” which was intended to open the door to salvation. How did they do this? Did they destroy the Scriptures? They didn’t need to do that. They merely perverted its teachings, obscuring the beauty and clarity of the Word.

Today, we have a new crop of Pharisees and “teachers of the law.” These too are part of the educated elite, who “have taken away the key to knowledge.” Who are they and how have they done this? These are the theistic or “Christian” evolutionists (CEs). They have perverted Scripture by claiming that the first few chapters of Genesis are merely allegory and not creation history. Why do they take this position? Well, if Genesis is not really an account about how God created the physical world, but rather a spiritual allegory, then this allegory cannot contradict the claims of evolution! Therefore, we can live together happily ever after with both Darwin and the Bible.

You might think that this is only a trivial compromise, but it is not. The Jesus/Darwin marriage is a transaction that affects the entire body of Scripture. How? For one thing, the writers of the New Testament and Jesus regarded these early accounts as genuine history and not mere allegory. For example:

  • Death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come. (Romans 5:14)
  • For Adam was formed first, then Eve. (1 Timothy 2:13)
  • For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22)
  • So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. (1 Corinthians 15:45)
  • [Jesus] the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. (Luke 3:38)
  • Enoch, the seventh from Adam. (Jude 1:14)
  • When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. "Sovereign Lord," they said, "you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.” (Acts 4:24)
  • He also says, "In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.” (Hebrews 1:10)
  • By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. (Hebrews 11:3)
  • Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:3)
  • In these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. (Hebrews 1:2)
  • God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. (Romans 4:17) 
  • Jesus replied, "But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.' ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." (Mark 10:5-9)
  • “From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. (Acts 17:26)
  • For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. (1 Corinthians 11:8-9)
  • But there is a place where someone has testified: "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?  You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet." (Hebrews 2:6-8)
All of these verses regard to the first three chapters of Genesis as historical! (And we haven’t even examined the OT commentary on Genesis 1-3!) How does the CE respond? The CE often claims that the NT authors didn’t really regard the Genesis account as historical. Instead, they were merely using language – pious distortions - that they knew would be acceptable to their audience.

However, by resorting to such an interpretation, the CEs turn the NT into an absolute mystery. Everything written becomes suspect. Perhaps everything in the NT is not a matter of truth but pious manipulation. Perhaps Jesus really didn’t rise from the dead, as the Apostles had claimed. Perhaps the Apostles reported this so that the believer might have hope? The Bible then becomes a closed book, useless for little more than entertainment. However, the Bible consistently claims to be “God-breathed” (2 Tim. 3:16) and fully the product of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 2:20-21).

The CE has “taken away the key of knowledge.” They have closed the Bible, and they seem to be undaunted by this.

Do they understand what they are doing? Perhaps not! Jesus called the Pharisees “blind guides”:

  • Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?" He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit." (Matthew 15:12-14)
The Pharisees might have genuinely but blindly believed in what they were doing. Perhaps also the CE! In any event, they have done considerable damage to the church. Even Dale McGowan, Ph.D, Managing Editor of the Atheist Channel at Patheos, and author of Atheism For Dummies, acknowledges this, quoting Tullio Gregory:

  • Once you cast doubt on man’s place in creation, the entire Biblical story of salvation history, from original sin to Christ’s incarnation, is also threatened. 
Even though he is a strong advocate for evolution, McGowan confesses that he is “conflicted” and troubled by message of BioLogos, a CE organization peddling evolution to the church:

  • In a BioLogos video titled, “Adam and Eve: Engaging the Tough Questions,” an advisor notes that there are “a lot of proposals out there of when the first sin might have happened, what it might have looked like… we don’t have a simple answer on the question of the historical Adam…who were Adam and Eve, when did they live?” 
  • This is always the first step in a crumbling theology – the suggestion that the answer is out there, it’s just very, very complicated. The problem is our ability to grasp the answer. But no worries, there are a lot of proposals. It all makes for an impressive simulacrum of rigor, an army of question marks in search of meaningful questions. 
As McGowen points out, Biologos has undermined both the clarity of the biblical message and the church’s assurance about it.

The CE has often counseled me that we “have to be humble about our interpretations of Scripture.” However, they are not at all humble about their dismissal of the first three chapters of Genesis as history. Nor are they humble about dismissing the NT’s clear assertions that Genesis is history. It would therefore seem reasonable to apply Paul’s invective to the CE:

  • I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! (Galatians 1:6-8) 
Let us pray that they will no longer hide behind mystery or “that the answer is out there, [but] it’s just very, very complicated,” but would repent!

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